Burma parliament opening welcomed


A man walks past the fence outside the parliament building in Naypyitaw, Burma (AP)

Burma has opened its first parliament in more than two decades, an event greeted with cautious optimism by opposition politicians despite the military’s tight management of the event.

Heavy security was in place for the opening.

Each vehicle entering the massive parliamentary compound in Naypyitaw was checked for bombs, while reporters were barred from witnessing the proceedings inside.

There is muted hope that the new legislature will be a step in the right direction for a country that has seen the army rule with impunity since a 1962 coup ended the last legitimate parliamentary democracy.

However, the military and its allies control more than 80% of the seats in parliament, ensuring continued army domination over government.

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